Never pursued low-level politics, says Modi
BJP leader Narendra Modi said Tuesday he was born in a lower caste but has never done "low-level politics", retorting to Congress campaigner Priyanka Gandhi who a day earlier accused him of pursuing petty politics.
"You said 'neech rajniti'... They are not able to come to terms with the truth, so they said it is politics of a lower class person. I cannot deny I am from a lower caste, but it is not a crime to be lower caste... I can assure the nation my politics is not low level," Modi said Tuesday at a public meeting in Uttar Pradesh, without naming anyone.
The comment came following Priyanka Gandhi's attack Monday on Modi that the BJP's prime ministerial candidate had insulted her "martyred" father Rajiv Gandhi, and the Congress booth workers in Amethi will give a reply to the "low-level politics".
The Congress was, however, quick to defend Priyanka Gandhi and said it was Modi's habit to divert issues.
Amethi, where Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is locked in a triangular fight with BJP's Smriti Irani and AAP's Kumar Vishwas, votes Wednesday.
Modi, who has been extensively campaigning across the length and breadth of the country, said the Election Commission should take a note of the comment.
"Stop taunting the lower castes in independent India. Would the Election Commission take action on such an insult?... They have their own compulsions," Modi said.
The BJP leader also said that he was earlier taunted for being a 'chai walla' (tea seller).
"...what is wrong with being a chai walla? I sold tea, never sold the nation," Modi said.
He accused the Congress of insulting the lower caste people.
"Hang me if you want, but don't insult my lower caste brothers," he said.
At the Domariyaganj rally, Modi was accompanied by BJP candidate Jagadambika Pal, who recently crossed over from the Congress.
The Congress defended Priyanka saying it is Modi's habit to divert issues.
"He has not misinterpreted anything, he is doing it on purpose," Congress leader Kapil Sibal said responding to a question.
"...That is how Narendra Modi is. He will say something which has nothing to do with facts," he said.
Modi earlier tweeted: "It is this 'low-level politics' that will help India come out of 60 years of misrule and the politics of vote bank...and wipe the tears of many."
"Socially, I belong to the lower section, hence my politics too will come across as being low level to them," he said in another tweet.
Wednesday's vote will be the penultimate round of the Lok Sabha elections that began April 7 and end May 12. The votes will be counted May 16.
(Posted on 06-05-2014)